Understanding print finishing techniques

Written on the 4 September 2012

Getting to grips with common print finishing techniques will help you make the right decision when it comes to printing your brochure, flyer, business card or poster.

Cello finishing

Short for celloglazing. A thin plastic film is applied on top of the printing to seal, protect and finish it. Both gloss and  matt cello can be printed either double or single sided.


When your printing needs folding, creasing is important to ensure your sheets dont split. Its the internal delamination of a sheet by compression along the line where folding is required. Creasing is usually required when paper is around 200gsm and above.

Die cutting

This is the main method of using metal dyes to give paper products specific shapes or designs that cant be created by a straight cut on a web press or guillotine cutter.

Full colour

Another term for colour printing.


Folding is required when you need to fold your printed document. Printed documents are commonly folded in one of the following ways:

Closed gate

Gloss laminating

This adds a high silk sheen to your document and is commonly used on brochure covers, menus or magazine covers.

Foil stamping

Foil is a special film-backed material. Foil stamping is the application of foil to paper. A heated dye is stamped onto the foil, making it stick to the surface and leaving the design of the dye on the paper. Combine it with embossing to create a 3D image.

Matt laminating

Matt laminating forms a protective coating around your printed document, but it doesnt have the high shine impact of gloss laminating. Nor does it have the same level of protection as gloss laminating and can show scratches, but it is a popular, premium finish.

Offset printing

This is where an inked image is transferred (or offset) from a plate to a rubber blanket, before the printing surface. Its a common, commercial printing technique that produces high quality, sharp images.

Spot colour or varnish

When one or two colours are produced using premixed inks to emphasise headings, borders and graphics and to match colours in logos.

Ensure youre familiar with the common printing techniques and you wont suffer any nasty surprises. With Snap, well ensure the end result is exactly how you imagined it. Visit a Snap Centre or contact us today.


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